Holy cow – how long has it been since the last new episode of Arrow?! In the world of the show, apparently it’s been six weeks, which means it’s time to come out of retirement.
Let’s bitch it out…After the events of the fall finale (during which Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen got his ass handed to him), the Hood has been sidelined for six weeks. Oliver uses his missing stepfather, Walter (an unseen Colin Salmon), as his excuse, but it’s clear that his issues are less familial and less physical than they are psychological. He pawns off his responsibilities to Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and the police because he can’t handle getting back to it, even though news reporters helpfully clarify his success statistically (a 16% drop in Starling City’s murder rate? Either the Hood was really good, or the city is worse than Detroit).
It’s a sly, but ingenious move to mirror Oliver’s challenges with Moira’s (Susanna Thompson) grief. Thea (Willa Holland) reveals that when Oliver and their father disappeared, Moira was rescued by Walter, who insisted that she leave the house and get back to living. Here Oliver is rescued by his love for Laurel – or rather his willingness to be persuaded by her – which forces him off the bench and back into the game. And, of course, Thea ultimately belittles her mom back to work as chairwoman of Queen Consolidated. Everyone wins because no one likes moping! Hurrah!
Ultimately ‘Burned’ proves to be a little simplistic with a pat, convenient ending. It works, however, to reestablish the show’s CW-esque principles (love conquers all, family and friends are the most important thing in the world, etc) and effectively relaunch Arrow for the remainder of the season. And after six weeks on the shelf, the biggest foe that the show faces isn’t a masked villain or Oliver’s fears of leaving his family; it’s that viewers have forgotten all about one of fall’s most enjoyably entertaining shows.
- Shameless plug: In case you missed it, Arrow made our list of “Best Of The Rest” TV of 2012
- Let it be said that the show is an equal opportunity skin fest: for the ladies and the gays we get two (!) brand new shirtless training montages and, at the fundraising benefit, Laurel gets a sexy slo-mo walk-up. Oh The CW…the lengths you’ll stoop to for ratings (and how we love you for it)
- Clearly the stairs down to the Hood’s cave underneath the club need to be replaced: it takes waaaay too long for Oliver to get down and into costume once the party gets hot. See, this is why you need a pole. It’s clear that Amell knows his way around one (the Salmon pole! Dirty!)
- Proof that Tommy (Colin Donnell) used to be more fun: he once rented out a football stadium to play strip kickball with models. Sounds like way more fun than the guy who makes notes elaborating why he deserves a drawer at his girlfriend’s place. Yawn…
- The court of public opinion is beginning to shift: at the top of the hour it’s all about “the vigilante” and by the end the Hood is a hero and a guardian angel. Sounds like absence made the heart grow fonder
- Of course, not everyone is impressed. Detective Lance (Paul Blacksmith) is his usual sourpuss self: he’s now using his daughter as electronic bait to listen in on calls with the Hood. Creepy
- Oliver (to Thea): “Cut me some slack, I’ve missed the cinematic genius that is Zach Gali…fi..na…kis?”
- Oliver (after Diggle attacks him): “What did that prove?” Diggle (losing the sparring match): “That this desk is pretty tough.”
- Oliver (confronting Laurel about Tommy’s request): “He said you’re being very possessive of your drawers.”
- Oliver (when Thea asks why he’s smiling since his club is a briquette): “It was under construction and now it’s even more under construction.” It’s all about Amell’s goofy delivery
So Arrow is back: what are your thoughts its fiery return? Was the episode a good reintroduction, or was it a little too simple for you? Are you invested in the island backstory (which this week features Ollie starting to turn into a soldier)? Should characters like Tommy and Thea be given more to do? Comment away
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW